Lagos State Residents On Red Alert, Over Likely Extreme High Rainfall And Heavy Flooding, For The Year 2020

Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, in Lagos State, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged residents of the State, to prepare for the likely consequences of 240 to 270 days of rain, with the 2020 rainfall predicted to begin on March 19, and end on November 22.

Bello made this known at a News Conference, on the 2020 seasonal rainfall predictions and prevention of flooding in Lagos, which held at the Ministry’s Conference room, on Tuesday.

He said that it was necessary to inform Lagos residents about the 2020 rainfall predictions, by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET,.

“Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, SRP, is to allay fears of residents, and prepare them ahead for the likely consequences of the rain”, he said.

Bello stated that the rainfall prediction for Lagos in 2020, is a near-normal one, noting that, Ikeja is expected to have about 1,526 millimetres, while Badagry is to have 1,759 millimetres.

He added that Lagos will have 1,714 millimetres, Ikorodu 1,690 millimetres, and Epe 1,730 millimetres.

The Commissioner stated that before the rainy season, a couple of rainfall is expected to occur, which would be enormous, and tend to give a false start to the rainy season.

His words: “Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of March 19, with an error margin of three days, while its cessation date is expected to be November 26.

“It is also expected that Lagos Island will have about 252 days of rainfall, and about 1,714 millimetres of rainfall, over the year.

“It can be deduced that Lagos State shall experience a rainy season of 240-270 days, while the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750 millimetres. Year 2020 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amount, which may result in flooding.

“Another contributory factor to possible flooding in the State, is sea level rise. This poses the biggest risk to coastal areas, and the State’s drainage infrastructure, as anytime there is high tidal movement, it may lock up the discharged points of drainage channels, and until it recedes, there will be no discharge.

“Such occurrences also caused back flows, resulting in flooding, but as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all generated storm water run-off will immediately discharge, and our roads will be free.”

He assured Lagos residents that the State would continue to reap the gains of planning, as the flood control measures in the State, have been stepped up to contain any unforeseen weather condition.

The Commissioner added that relevant measures have been put in place, in preparation for the 2020 rainy season.

Bello revealed that the State is determined to maintain and sustain the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

He disclosed that the partnership has ensured control and monitoring of steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam, to prevent flooding of the release of the downstream communities.

He stressed that the emergency flood abatement gang under drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry, had been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits, to enable them discharge efficiently, and act as retention basins.

Bello promised to beef up the Ministry’s enlightenment efforts to sensitise and advise communities in coastal and low-lying wetland areas of the State, to move upward to avert needless loss of lives and property, when the need arises.

He said that the Ministry would also serve abatement notice to owners of illegal structures, violators of buildings, regulations on drainage alignments tenements, and institutions discharging solid waste in water bodies.

Bello, however, urged the Media to support the State Government under the Leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to sensitise Lagos residents who reside along flood plains of major rivers and drainage channels, to always be on alert, and ready to relocate to higher grounds, when the need arises.

He advised residents to report cases of drainage blockages, and dumping of waste into other unauthorised places.

Bello said that telephone numbers of all the State drainage Engineers would be available in the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the State, to attend to all needs before, during and after the rainy season.

He nonetheless, appealed to the people to support government efforts, by complementing the State Government, through regular clearing of drains in their frontages, to ensure free-flow of storm water.

He warned residents to desist from dumping refuse into drainage and on the roads.

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